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should I add a pipe?

My 1 year old burnham boiler has (2) 2" pipes coming off for the supply connections. One of these is capped off, the other is connected. The installation instructions indicate that connecting the second connection is optional for this size heater. From reading "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" it indicates that connecting the second one is very desirable to create dry steam. Should I connect it? Picture attached. (capped off tap is behind the red shut off switch...)


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,653

    If that one riser conforms to what the Burnham manual regards as a minimum, I wouldn't bother unless you are having real problems with wet steam.

    Would it get better quality steam?  Possibly -- but it would be a full scale repipe of the header as well (the two risers have to be upstream of your steam takeoffs, so all that would have to be redone) for a rather doubtful gain.

    The five section Weil-McClain in the building I care for has only one riser, although it is generous and feeds a drop header, and works just fine.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • DsissonDsisson Member Posts: 47

    Jamie, that was exactly what I was thinking....but still wondered if it will be a wet steam problem. Guess I'd better fire it up and see what happens...
  • gcp13gcp13 Member Posts: 117
    Steady waterline

    Adding a 2nd takeoff can help steady the waterline

    If the water starts surging It could surge away

    from lwco and kick the auto feeder on

    Make sure the feeder is set with a delay

    And add a skim port to clean the surface of the water
  • DsissonDsisson Member Posts: 47

    so, today, i fired it up for the first time and it worked no problems. however, the water line did drop quite low (only about 1/2" showing in the sight glass). The water feeder didn't kick on (that I could see). The sight glass and low water switch are both on the side with the capped off pipe. I assume the water level was NOT consistent across the boiler, that it was higher on the side that's emitting steam, and low on the capped off side.

    What is a skim port and how does it get added? Thanks in advance.
  • gcp13gcp13 Member Posts: 117

    You need to pipe in a drain somewhere above the water level and

    Raise the water until it runs out the pipe into a bucket

    Cut back on the water until it trickles out ,could be for hrs.

    You can do it when the is cold,some say to heat up

    Either way you want to run all the oil & crap off the surface

    Then bring your water back down to where it should be &

    Try running it. Shouldn't surge as bad. Make sure your sight glass

    Valves are open & clear into the boiler. Clogged valves can give you

    False levels
  • Waterline movement

    Putting in a second riser would certainly dry the steam; but a larger header (1 inch larger), would be necessary to slow the steam velocity and separate the water droplets out.

    Another cause of the plunging waterline syndrome could be high pressure, forcing water out of the boiler up into the dry returns. This can be more pronounced, if any of the dry returns are horizontal a short distance above the waterline. With proper main venting, there should be no short-cycling, even at pressures below 1.5 psi,verified by a good low pressure gauge (gauge 0- 3 psi). Keep the useless 0-30 psi gauge on the same pigtail to satisfy code requirements.--NBC

    Why not valve off your auto/over feeder for a while, so it cannot feed water into the boiler and observe the waterline height for a few days.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,596
    edited September 2013

    I'm pretty much done with skimming other than to finish off after using a wand. Skimming just takes too long and doesn't always work. I skimmed my boiler 6 times until I finally had enough and built a wand to wash it out like Gerry Gill had recommended.

    Here is a thread I found on it, though its not the thread I started it appears to have good links and info.

    After looking for a bit I found the thread I started on it as well.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • edgeedge Member Posts: 5
    I was wondering the same thing

    I was thinking about replacing my boiler with a Peerless ECT 3 section.Most of the all of the installations I've seen use only one of the two top outlets.Although building the header would be more work than using the existing layout maybe it would be worth it.
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